Hypertension or High BloodPressure
When to seek medical advice for hypertension or high blood pressure? : Ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading at least every two years. He or she may recommend more frequent readings if you have pre-hypertension, high blood pressure or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Hypertension or High Blood Pressure Screening and diagnosis. Blood pressure is measured with an inflatable arm cuff and a blood pressure measuring gauge. A blood pressure or hypertension diagnosis, screening and reading, given in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), has two numbers. The first, or upper number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats (systolic pressure) the second, or lower, number measures the pressure in your arteries between beats (diastolic pressure).
The latest blood pressure guidelines, issued in 2008 by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute divide blood pressure measurements into four general categories;
Normal Blood Pressure: Your blood pressure is normal if it’s below 120/80 mm Hg – but some data indicate that 115/75 mm HG should be the gold standard. Once blood pressure rises above 115/75 mm Hg, the risk of cardiovascular disease begins to increase.
Pre-hypertension: Pre-hypertension is a systolic pressure ranging from 120 to 139 or a diastolic pressure ranging from 80 to 89. Pre-hypertension tends to get worse over time. Within four years of being diagnosed with pre-hypertension, nearly once in three adults ages 35 to 64 and nearly one in two adults age 65 or older progress to definite high blood pressure.
Stage 1 hypertension: Stage 1 hypertension is a systolic pressure ranging from 140 to 159 or a diastolic pressure ranging from 90 to 99.
Stage 2 hypertension: The most severe hypertension, stage 2 hypertension is a systolic pressure of 160 or higher or a diastolic pressure of 100 or higher. Both numbers in a blood pressure reading are important. But after age 50, the systolic reading are important. But after age 50, the systolic reading is even more significant. Isolated systolic hypertension (ISH) – when diastolic pressure is normal but systolic pressure is high – is the most common type of high blood pressure among people older than 50. a single high blood pressure reading usually isn’t enough for a diagnosis.
Because blood pressure normally varies throughout the day – and sometimes specifically during visits to the doctor-diagnosis is based on the more than one occasion. Your doctor may ask you to record your blood pressure at home and at work to provide additional information. If you have any type of high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend routine tests, such as a urine test (urinalysis), blood tests and an electrocardiogram (ECG) – a test that measures your heart’s electrical activity. More extensive testing isn’t usually needed.
Complications: Complication of High blood pressure on the artery walls can damage your vital organs. The higher your blood pressure and the longer it goes uncontrolled, the greater the damage. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to:
- Damage to your arteries.
- Heart failure.
- A blocked or ruptured blood vessel in your brain.
- Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys.
- Thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes.
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure also may affect your ability to think, remember and learn.
- Cognitive impairment and dementia are more common in people who have high blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure Treatment
Treating high blood pressure can help prevent serious-even life-threatening – complications. Your doctor also may suggest steps to control conditions that can contribute to high blood pressure, such as diabetes and high cholesterol. Blood pressure goals aren’t the same for everyone. Although everyone should strive for blood pressure readings below 140/90, doctors recommend lower readings for people with certain conditions. The goal is 130/80 if you have or have had chronic kidney disease or diabetes.